Baseball: Portage upsets Lake Central
PORTAGE — Talk about moving forward and bouncing back quickly.
Portage’s softball team did exactly that — putting Tuesday’s road loss to Crown Point behind it — with a 5-2 Duneland Athletic Conference upset win over Lake Central on Wednesday.
The red Indians (8-4, 4-2) used the strong pitching of freshman Kiley Jones and the bat of catcher Haley Hodges to end LC’s 11-game winning streak.
Jones allowed just four singles in seven innings and fanned five, including LC’s Kayla Bishton with the bases loaded to end the game.
Hodges, meanwhile, had two hits, including a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning, giving Portage the lead for good.
“This is a phenomenal win for us,’’ Portage coach Lisa Hayes said. “I respect (LC) coach (Jeff) Sherman a lot. He’s a phenomenal coach. Getting a win like this against a coach like that, is a great feeling.’’
Portage added a run in the third inning and two more in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead into the seventh inning.
Lake Central scored one run on a bases loaded error in the seventh before Jones ended the game with a strikeout.
“For six innings, (Jones) made us look silly — she really did,’’ Sherman said. “At the end, we just dug ourselves a little too big of a hole to come out of.’’
Jones kept LC (11-2, 5-1) off balance by using different speeds and mixing up her pitches.
“Just having an off-speed pitch that’s working is always the key,’’ she said.
Hayes said the biggest difference between the lopsided loss to CP, and the stunning turnaround win over LC, was attitude.
“The difference today offensively was their demeanor,’’ she said. “Stepping into the batter’s box they weren’t just standing there, they were looking for base hits. They wanted to hit. They wanted to win.’’